[Ed. – What issue? The players want the freedom to thumb their nose at the country over imagined grievances, and fans demand that they respect the national anthem. If the league isn’t careful, fans will resolve this matter for them in a manner that neither the NFL nor players will like.]
The NFL will put its new anthem policy on hold while it tries to bridge an impasse with the NFL Players’ Association, both organizations announced in a joint statement on Thursday night.
The statement said the two sides “have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue.”
“In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy,” the statement said. “No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing.”
The NFL’s owners announced a league-wide anthem policy in May. It stipulated that players had to stand for the anthem on the sideline, but could remain in the locker room during its playing.
The policy directed fines at teams if players violated it, and allowed individual teams to craft their own, supplemental policies regarding anthem conduct.
The Associated Press reported on Thursday that the Miami Dolphins are considering such a policy that would suspend players for up to four games for protesting during the anthem.